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Walking and Weight Training for Weight Loss

Question: I'm a 53 y/o male who weighs 70 pounds more than he did 15 years ago. At that time I ran marathon distance on dirt trails in a forest (Portland OR) and cycled distance (e.g., Seattle to Portland in one day). I have decided it's a very bad idea to walk around with this much fat on me so I have started a walking and gym machine workout program. I go 6 days a week. In 5 weeks, I have lost 13 pounds and I am feeling better already. My aerobic sessions go from 40 mins to 150 mins and average about 60 mins per session. My question is: if I am emphasizing a cardio program as the biggest element of a weight reduction effort (in addition to eating low fat and better portion control), is it enough for me to do a) leg extensions; b) pullups and dips on a Nautilus weight-assisted pullup and dip machine; c) ab machine? My main interest is the cardio but I want to do some strength building as well. Is this too little? I want to get back to a 34 inch waist although I would be happy to get a 32 inch back! I want to know what is really required for me to get down to 150 pounds with 15% body fat. I am 68 inches in height. I started at 230 pounds on 6/22 and today 7/31 I weigh 217. My goal is 200 pounds by Oct 7 and in two years to get back to 150 pounds. I train with a Polar HRM and I seem to handle long walks outside and 60 mins sessions on treadmills, elliptical machine, and cycle quite comfortably. In 1995 I had kidney cancer and had surgery and I am fine today. Otherwise, I am in good health. BP is 110/70. I do not plan on running until my weight gets down to the 175 lbs and less stage. I am OK with the walking... Thanks for site---great content. Fred

Answer: Your goals are lofty, but your plan looks good. I agree -- weight training would help you reach your goal. Make sure you include the agonist AND the antagonist muscles of each major muscle group in your routine in order to stay balanced and injury-free. This means if you train your abs, you should also work your low back; balance your pecs with your lats (chest/back); hamstrings/quadriceps... To make it easy, just think of training the front and back of each body part. Since you have such a thorough plan, it would be great if you could include a good daily stretching routine plus a once-a-week yoga class.

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